Saturday, February 5, 2011
Understanding Antiviral Blood Test Results
I just found this very cool website about the subset of ME/CFS patients who can use antivirals to get better.
The area I was most impressed with is under the TESTING section where it talked about many doctors don't know that
the active virus portion of the blood work is a useless number.
It's with that interpretation of the blood work that often causes the communication to down between doctor
and a patient seeking antiviral treatment. The doctor thinks they know everything about how to interpret the blood tests and
has no use for information to the contrary. So show this to your doctor at your own risk. :) (See my last post.)
After all, what could you possibly know, right? But maybe say "But doctor, this information is from Stanford! Maybe you could
call and talk to them." That might work, but I wouldn't hold my breath unless you go to the one of the 10 percent
of doctors who really care.
Not too bitter am I?
I've just been mistreated a lot by doctors as I sought treatment/help and all those little hurts have added up.
My really bitter statement is -- if you think the U.S. healthcare system is good, you've never been really sick.
I hate to speak unkindly of a system respected by so many others, but there you have it.
This is not a very useful test. Although it is worth testing once, this
result is rarely positive in patients with chronic viral infections. Typically IgM titers persist only for a few weeks after
the primary infection. Just because the IgM is normal does not mean that you donít have an active infection; many clinicians
are not aware of this fact.